Wagering Options Galore Help Bolster Indiana’s October Betting Revenue

Posted on November 10, 2020 - Last Updated on November 23, 2020

Hoosiers placed over $230 million worth of sports bets throughout October.

October was the second-straight month that Indiana set a record-high in wagers. That was nice step up from September’s $207 million haul.

Football now has the stage to itself until the NBA returns in December, but that’s hardly a bad thing.

Hoosiers love betting on football, and there’s plenty of betting options between the NFL and college.

Indiana gamblers bet $84 million on football in October. The return of the Big Ten likely helped boost that number.

Altogether, Indiana’s October handle created $2 million worth of tax revenue for the state, and added to Indiana sports betting revenue overall.

Indiana’s October 2020 sports betting handle

Here’s the breakdown of Indiana’s sports betting numbers for October 2020:

LicenseeOnline Brand(s)Total HandleOnline HandleRetail HandleGross RevenueState Tax
Ameristar East ChicagoDraftKings | theScore Bet$97,473,595$91,936,937$5,536,659$9,596,062$750,191
Blue ChipFanDuel$65,619,083$63,589,991$2,029,093$7,319,108$600,581
Hollywood LawrenceburgPointsBet$18,549,115$7,067,247$11,481,868$2,730,095$185,420
French LickBetRivers$8,404,251$7,801,222$603,028$712,096$63,679
Horseshoe HammondCaesars | Unibet$6,444,361$2,227,195$4,217,165$875,613$58,378
Indiana Grand$4,481,740$0$4,481,740$657,753$60,398
Harrah's Hoosier Park$4,139,689$0$4,139,689$562,522$45,311
Caesars Southern Indiana$2,401,967$0$2,401,967$428,886$34,467
Tropicana EvansvilleWilliam Hill$2,194,555$149,897$2,044,658$293,334$25,233
Rising StarBetAmerica$295,408$189,108$106,300$21,138$2,153

William Hill finally launches

Indiana finally landed its 10th online sportsbook in October. William Hill moved the state into double-digit territory.

That Oct. 28 launch was a long time coming for the British company.

William Hill was on track to launch in the Hoosier State back in 2019, but the sportsbook didn’t bother to come to market until recently.

The company was only taking bets for a few days in October, but it still managed to rack up a $150,000 handle.

William Hill operates the Tropicana Evansville’s retail sportsbook, which is a Caesars property, and its online sportsbook license is also tethered there as well.

For the sake of comparison, Caesars Online Sportsbook only managed to bring in $8,000 during its launch in May. William Hill managed to exceed that number, even with nine fewer days of taking bets.

The company’s level of success around the US is one of the reasons that Caesars Entertainment is looking to acquire William Hill.

The sportsbook may finally be taking bets in the Hoosier State, but there might be trouble on the horizon.

Tropicana Evansville was recently sold off to Twin River Holdings.

If Twin River doesn’t want to keep William Hill as one of its online partners, then the sportsbook will have to hit pause on its Indiana business.

Whether that will happen or not remains to be seen, so at least for now, Indiana will keep its number of active online betting apps in the double digits.

DraftKings approaches $100 million handle

Indiana’s top dog is getting awfully close to a big milestone.

None of Indiana’s online sportsbooks have ever brought in $100 million worth of wagers in a single month. DraftKings is on track to become the first.

The sportsbook racked up about $90.5 million worth of bets during October.

FanDuel is the state’s second-most popular book, but even its $63 million handle is over $17 million behind first place.

At this rate, it could be only be a matter of months before DraftKings passes the $100 million mark.

The company already accounted for 39% of Indiana’s entire handle in October. That’s an incredible market share considering it’s competing with all of the state’s retail casinos and nine other betting apps.

At this rate, the Hoosier State might be in for a third-straight record month in November.

As Indiana’s handle continues to grow, so will DraftKings’ monthly numbers.

BetMGM managed to hit a milestone of its own during October. The sportsbook racked up over $20 million worth of wagers for the very first time.

After a few months of elbowing out BetRivers and PointsBet, BetMGM is now firmly the number three sportsbook in the state.

Tons of Indiana sports betting options

Indiana just had its two best months ever in terms of sports betting handle.

Between October’s $230 million haul and September’s $207 million mark, business has been booming since sports returned to action.

Part of the growth has been due to the sheer number of betting options out there.

At one point, the following leagues were all playing games on the same day:

  • MLB
  • NBA
  • NHL
  • NFL
  • WNBA
  • MLB
  • MLS

That unique situation is over now, but there’s still plenty of betting options out there, thanks to the way that the Indiana Gaming Commission has handled things.

The commission has been adding all sorts of new betting options since sports wagering started in the state.

Now there are dozens of options to pick from at any given time. Everything from table tennis to Halloween candy eating contests are on the table for betting.

That’s helped Indiana grow since last year, but the rest of the country is starting to catch up.

Colorado outperformed the Hoosier State in terms of handle in September. It only took five months for the new market to overtake Indiana, which has been taking bets since August 2019.

Illinois is likely to follow suit in the coming months.

However, even though it may be slipping a bit in the national rankings, Indiana is still one of the largest markets in the country.

Fun and unique betting options will be part of keeping Indiana competitive as its neighbors bring sports betting into the fold.

We’ll see plenty of betting options and sportsbook launches as Indiana’s market continues to develop.

Indiana online casinos in 2021

Sports betting may be well underway in Indiana, but the state doesn’t have a regulated online casino market yet.

That might be changing soon if Sen. Jon Ford has his way.

Ford is making the push for online casinos his main focus for Indiana’s first 2021 legislative session. That session will run from January-April, so there’s a nice window there to get this done.

The draft bill has already been sent to the Indiana Legislative Services Commission.

So why now?

Ford is introducing the bill to help Indiana’s casino industry recover from the hits it took from the COVID-19 shutdowns.

Online casinos are also a lot more profitable than sports betting.

$230 million worth of October sports wagers may sound like a lot, but it doesn’t translate to a ton of tax revenue for Indiana. The state only took in $2 million worth of taxes from last month’s haul.

Ford projects that online gaming could bring in between $45-60 million every year in taxes.

That’s a nice chunk of change that Indiana certainly wouldn’t mind having on the books.

Ford plans to start campaigning for the bill in December, so things are going to start moving quickly.

If all goes well, the lottery, casinos, horse racing and sports betting could all have a new friend in Indiana online casinos.

That’s great news for Indiana gamblers, who could have more options than ever in the near future.

Photo by Dreamstime
Jake Garza Avatar
Written by
Jake Garza

Jake Garza is a US Gambling Industry Analyst for Catena Media. He specializes in Midwest sports betting and casino content. Prior to covering the legal gambling industry, he spent time as a professional sports writer, reporting on teams such as the Cincinnati Bengals, Indianapolis Colts and Indiana Pacers. Garza is currently working as a Managing Editor for PlayIndiana and PlayOhio, with previous stops at other well-known brands such as PlayIllinois and PlayMichigan. He has been covering the gambling industry since 2019, and currently works with a team of other journalists to provide comprehensive coverage of the legal U.S. gambling industry.

View all posts by Jake Garza